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MidSussexMEC

MidSussexMEC Our last track day of the season is on Saturday September the 7th at Victoria park, Haywards Heath for the town day… https://t.co/j0gPZSjMxj

about 1 month ago via Twitter for Android

MidSussexMEC

MidSussexMEC RT @MikeTango22314: How many of you men know how to do basic sewing, like sewing on a button or stitching a rip in a seam? If you do know h…

2 months ago via Twitter for Android

MidSussexMEC

MidSussexMEC RT @WSFRSHHeath: Can anyone see what the problem is with this picture, taken whilst in the Fire Engine whilst carrying out a Safe & Well Vi…

2 months ago via Twitter for Android

MidSussexMEC

MidSussexMEC Setting up our portable track for a fun day in Burgess Hill! https://t.co/yxDBoDsi7X

3 months ago via Twitter for Android

MidSussexMEC

MidSussexMEC RT @doctorow: Author hid funny messages on the copyright page of his book (h/t thenewbrunette) https://t.co/zl8MRZ3iio" target="_new">@thenewbrunette) https://t.co/zl8MRZ3iio https://t.co/Vra15J…

3 months ago via Twitter for Android

Our last track day of the season is on Saturday September the 7th at Victoria park, Haywards Heath for the town day… https://t.co/j0gPZSjMxj

about 1 month ago from Twitter for Android

RT @MikeTango22314: How many of you men know how to do basic sewing, like sewing on a button or stitching a rip in a seam? If you do know h…

2 months ago from Twitter for Android

RT @WSFRSHHeath: Can anyone see what the problem is with this picture, taken whilst in the Fire Engine whilst carrying out a Safe & Well Vi…

2 months ago from Twitter for Android

Setting up our portable track for a fun day in Burgess Hill! https://t.co/yxDBoDsi7X

3 months ago from Twitter for Android

RT @doctorow: Author hid funny messages on the copyright page of his book (h/t thenewbrunette) https://t.co/zl8MRZ3iio" target="_new">@thenewbrunette) https://t.co/zl8MRZ3iio https://t.co/Vra15J…

3 months ago from Twitter for Android

Early History as recalled by Founder member Dick Rawling.
 
It was in 1945, with the war just ended, that Les Palin and Mr Whittington decided to form the club. We met in the basement of Maxwetor (?) – a Council property – and promptly decided to build a portable railway.
Twice a week we cast the concrete  “V” shaped legs in a mould, and on regular evenings constructed the rails from ¼” square mild steel. Somehow we acquired the support for the rails – timber required a ration type licence.
(A.R. note: I seem to remember that a lot of this original timber was Jarrah, which was used for telegraph pole crossbars, and Dick worked for the Post Office – just a coincidence I’m sure!)
All this was for our first public show in the Public Hall (now 99p store). The Council officials were a bit put off by live coal steam in their largely wooden building, and Les had borrowed the wood for the exhibition stands from the timber company in Mill Green Road on the understanding that it was not cut or drilled. My part was top make the notice (3ft x 24ft) to hang outside the hall, Churton Evans showed the latest televisions, and the Band Room was well attended, showing a film of the 1947 Coronation on Mr Whittington’s projector.
The timber (well cut and drilled) was returned whilst the Manager of the timber company was away. I was the Treasurer, and can report that the income from admission and stand rental was quite substantial.
 
Beechurst had be “derequisitioned” from the Army, and was bequested to the Council for the benefit of the community, and all local organisations were invited to make their headquarters there. Only two responded: the Opera Company, who used the Hayloft, and us in the potting shed.
Mr Wittington gave us the Myford lathe and several 110v motors that he had used for his war-time creation of a link trainer for the Air Trainee Corps. Arthur Elphic used these for the other machines, but the rectifier to drive them (Mercury Arc) caused much TV interference until we converted to Selenium.
 
For the 1951 Jubilee, we held another public exhibition, this time in the old house of Beechurst, with the track outside this time. The house, by then, had developed dry rot and had no electricity supply, so we located the old cable that had supplied the house from it’s generator, and used this to power up our display.
 
About this time there was a lot of interest to have a permanent railway in Sussex, including from influential people in Brighton. We could not fund this, but our Chairman, Mr Brown, and I were on the initial Committee in Brighton in 1953 – which led ultimately to the track we know so well. Mr Whittington was able to obtain a load of bricks – still rationed at that time for house building – and we had an urgent request for a working party to move them into hiding from the Beechurst drive so as to build the pillars to support the new railway. Ron Bostel had obtained all the seating from a closed cinema in Portsmouth, and we cut these up on a circular saw made by Arthur Elphick, into the hundreds of sleepers required.
Around this time, we held another public display, this time in the potting sheds, but it was not really a success.
 
Mr. Whittington played a large part in the railway: he was Council Chairman, and influenced them in giving permission when many thought that the noisy engines would put off the bowlers.
 
So I think our club can be said to have played a large part in the early years of “the other club”!
 
The redevelopment of Beechurst meant that the potting sheds were to go and the Council offered us the old stables, which became our machine shop and headquarters – but that is rather recent history, and was followed ultimately by the move to our present location, when that area was redeveloped.
 
Long may it thrive!.
 
 
Footnote: Dick is an excellent calligrapher, and produced most of the handpainted notices still in use around the Club. He also produced all the placecards for exhibitions, which I still think looked better than my current computer-generated ones, and lined various models for people – all freehand!